WORTHING will not progress with a 20mph limit scheme after councillors dismissed the idea last night.
The town refused to follow the lead of other areas of the UK, with 69.4 per cent voting ‘no’ to the proposals in a public consultation.
The decision not to progress was unanimous – but councillors of Worthing County Local Committee pledged to look at a small number of individual roads which had expressed support.
Tarring councillor Bob Smytherman said: “The people of Worthing have clearly spoken in large numbers. There is a need for demonstrated community support. “From what I have seen, I don’t think that has happened.”
The meeting, at St Paul’s Centre, in Chapel Road, Worthing, heard from both campaign groups – 20’s Plenty and 20’s Pointless.
Pro group leader Duncan Kay argued the public consultation was flawed, suggesting the process was biased.
20’s Pointless, on the other hand, said the public had spoken.
Mr Kay said: “If the decision you make tonight is not fair, impartial and without bias, then this issue will not be resolved or fixed.
“The young, the elderly, the frail, the hard of hearing, the parent who wants their child to be able to walk to school, those with protected characteristics won’t go away or move somewhere else.
“The decision will continue to be challenged vigorously.”
Mr Kay asked the committee if they believed the lack of benefits of 20mph schemes in the consultation pack, among other concerns, were fair.
But councillors praised the efforts of officers who carried out a ‘good’ consultation.
Steve Waight, councillor for Goring, said the public were not ‘gullible’ and could make up their own minds.
Roger Graham, speaking for 20’s Pointless, said: “He (Mr Kay) came to the CLC with a petition, asking the public whether they wanted a 20mph scheme. They don’t. They don’t. They massively don’t. And here he is today asking the CLC to ignore the very vote he was so keen to have.
“It does not do when the person who does not succeed then stands up as an amateur lawyer to pick holes in the way that campaign was conducted.”
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kay said he was disappointed with the outcome but ‘had to accept’ the decision.
For full reaction, see the Herald, out Thursday, November 27.